Go Go Hamsters came under the spotlight yesterday after a US watchdog said the toys had too much of a toxic chemical in their fur. The Good Guide, an independent US-based consumer group, published a report last week in which one item in the range, the hamster Mr Squiggles, was alleged to contain more than the permitted level of the chemical antimony.
The story was covered on the front page of The Sun yesterday with the headline ‘No No Hamster: Safety scare over biggest selling Xmas toy'. The story was also discussed on BBC Breakfast News.
The Guardian has reported today that the prices of Go Go Hamsters plummeted on internet auction site eBay on Monday. Brand new toys were being sold for half of the usual asking price.
The Character Group, whose trading subsidiary Character Options is the UK distributor of Go Go Pets, said that, following further independent testing, the toys meet and fully comply with the stringent safety and quality standards and regulations imposed by the European authorities.
The Character Group's long standing retained financial PR shop Citigate Dewe Rogerson has been handling press enquiries about the story. Evolution PR, which provides retained corporate PR for the firm, has also been providing support.
Citigate director Fiona Tooley, who has handled PR support for The Character Group for 20 years, said: ‘We have been doing damage limitation. We do not want worried parents out there. It has had to be handled quickly and sensitively.'